Saturday, May 17, 2014

Feeling Inspired

A couple weeks ago, I got some really heartbreaking news from a publisher.  Basically, they told me that my nonfiction book wasn't good enough.  Some of the language they used made me feel stupid and embarrassed, which upset me, but after getting over the initial shock, I was able to see the critique for what it really was.  My friends also helped quite a bit in that department also.

What this person did was give me what I needed to change the book into what it really needs to be:  fun.  I tried to make it too serious, too scholarly, but that's not what the book is about.  It has some seriousness in it, but it's also about me and my journey of discovery.  That's what I needed to focus on.

I'll admit it, the edits were a little hard to do at first.  I was still upset and raw from the rejection, but I also had a "screw you" mentality, so I was going to get the edits done.  It didn't take me long to get through them, about a week, and I felt so much better about the manuscript.  I felt even better when I sent it to my editor friend and she told me the book was sooooo much better.

That really inspired me.  It made me feel like I could take on the publishing world again.  I know not everyone is going to like it.  The world is full of rejection.  I just hope one person out there will say yes.

I've been able to get over my anger at the publisher and move on with the book.  In the end, no matter how hurtful the critique was, it inspired and pushed me to be a better writer.  For that, I can only say thank you.

For those who are interested, here's the query for the book that I will be sending out after it gets edited.  Fingers crossed someone finds it interesting enough to ask for more!

My obsession with zombie films started when I was in junior high. They are a great lens to examine concerns society has about modern science. Let’s face it, when it comes to horror movies, science has a bad reputation. Blind ambition, experimental serums, and genetic experiments are often blamed for the giant monster terrorizing the city or the reason aliens are taking human prisoners or the cause of the dead rising from the grave to consume living flesh.

Using film, literature, and interviews with experts, my nonfiction book, Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies (approximately 65,000 words), examines how zombies portray real-world fears such as epidemics, mind control, what may or may not exist in space, the repercussions of playing God, and the science behind the fears.

Science has made it possible for us to live the way we do; it has given us numerous advances in all fields of life from medicine to agriculture to entertainment. Yet, with all of these advantages, there are a multitude of disadvantages that could prove to be detrimental to humans and society. Weapon technology used in wars is one of these major disadvantages, but anything that is beneficial to humanity, including medicine, has the potential to harm us. My goal is to explore how zombies become a metaphor for our fears of science and what could happen if science gets out of hand. The manuscript is completed.

This isn’t my first look at society’s fears. My nonfiction book, Life Lessons from Slasher Films, examines the social significance of slasher movies and was published by Scarecrow Press in 2012. I am a weekly contributor to a blog that features female zombie authors. I have my master’s in English, I was a technical editor for an environmental consulting firm for 6 years, I wrote freelance science articles, and I am now an editor and writer for a university foundation. I’ve also published two YA zombie novels, a novella, and short stories written under the pen name of Pembroke Sinclair, as well as children’s books.

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